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Children’s Law Center is appointed to represent children on their first day in foster care. We’ve met babies whose parents are struggling with unaddressed depression and addiction. We’ve seen the pain of elementary school children separated from their brothers and sisters. And we have listened to teenagers who have been removed from their homes because they and their mothers were victims of domestic violence.

Every child has unique needs and a distinct history.

But there’s one constant: Our team of guardians ad litem (GAL lawyers), education lawyers, social workers and investigators fight for what is in each child’s best interests.

Living in foster care can be difficult, especially for a child who has faced more traumatic experiences than anyone should encounter in their lifetime. That’s why Children’s Law Center ensures that a holistic support team is available for each child we represent.

Every child has a GAL lawyer and an investigator who work together to build relationships and trust with the child and the adults in the child’s life. We visit the child at home, at school and in their community because we need to know how their world works.

When I first met Kiley and Kira*, I immediately saw how their needs were significant yet so different from one another. I asked Lucy Sgroi, one of our social workers, to assess the girls’ behavioral health needs. Her observation helped me make the case for neurological, educational and psychological evaluations of both children which resulted in stronger therapy and education plans for each child.

Olabisi Davies, GAL Lawyer

*Children’s Law Center works hard to protect our clients’ confidentiality. The children’s names have been modified. All other details are true.

When the court appoints Children’s Law Center to represent a child, our investigators quickly learn what is going on in the child’s life so that the GAL lawyer can advocate in court and with the government for the living situation and supports that are in the child’s best interests. Investigators request and review school, medical and mental health records; inspect the child’s current and potential homes; run criminal record checks for potential caregivers; and meet with teachers about the child’s education needs.

Education lawyers review each child’s school situation to ensure they are in a stable, successful learning environment; and, when the child isn’t, the lawyers work with the parents and school to get the child’s education back on the right path.

Social workers assess the more complex issues that impact a child – providing clinical recommendations so that the GAL lawyer can advocate for the right supports and family placement.

The GAL lawyer develops the legal strategy, advocating in and out of court so every child has a stable, loving family and receives the necessary services and supports.

This unique approach allows Children’s Law Center to pull in all the tools, resources and partners we need to support each child today and to provide a foundation for their future success.

Diagram showing Children's Law Center's teaming approach. Child is at the center. A ring around the child includes birth parent, foster parent, other adults, and siblings. The outer ring includes social worker, investigator, guardian ad litem, and education attorney.

A child’s wellbeing is always our central focus.

We also work closely with birth parents, grandparents, foster parents, teachers, siblings and others who provide the child with significant support. The team works together to achieve our goal for each child: a stable family, good health and quality education.